– by Wes Colton, Introvert Unbound
You’ve probably heard of Sober October and maybe even No Fap November, where participants refrain from certain pleasurable pass times for a full month. As a disciplined but unapologetic drinker/masturbator, I’ve never been interested in either, however as a fan of self-development I do like the idea of a personal challenge…Which is why I’m launching Solo Manuary, where for the entire month of January I vow to swear off women!
To be clear, I don’t see Solo Manuary as a criticism—or even a commentary—about women, a gender of which I’m quite fond. For me, Solo Manuary is simply an experiment to discover how much of my life I dedicate to attracting women.
Needless to say, I will still be communicating with the many women in my life, be they friends, family, colleagues, or anyone else I have a non-sexual reason for interacting with. However, for thirty-one days in a row starting January 1, I pledge not to put in any effort whatsoever towards dating, attracting, or even approaching any woman with sexual intent, both in person and online.
I’m not doing this out of bitterness (“I’m so done with dating!”), self-pity (“Will I always be so alone?”) or revenge (“No more Wes Colton for you, ladies!”). Neither am I buying into the bullshit conventional wisdom about “finding the right person when you’re not looking,” which is really terrible advice for the vast majority of us. In all honesty, I’m not doing this to improve my dating life at all, but to hopefully gain some additional perspective on why I do some of the things I do (and maybe test my willpower a bit).
The idea for Solo Manuary came up innocently enough: After acknowledging that none of the women I’d been seeing recently had long-term potential, I thought it wouldn’t be the worst idea to take a little break from dating. With the new year coming up, I wondered what it would be like to not only avoid dating throughout the whole of January, but not even try to date anyone.
At first blush, it seems pretty simple, right? Don’t approach anyone at a bar, coffee shop, or social event. If a woman talks to you, don’t flirt, try to impress her, or ask for her number. Don’t log on to any dating site.
However, the more I pondered, the more I realized I’d also have to account for all of the small—often unconscious—actions I take on a daily basis in hopes of making myself more desirable to the opposite sex, including but not limited to: Personal grooming, hygiene, clothing, which events I attend, what groups I interact with, even what topics of conversation I broach.
My intention for all of January is to do only the things that enhance my personal satisfaction, my self-development, my physical and mental health, my friendships, and/or my career, while helping those in need. Obviously, it’s impossible to completely unentangle one’s behavior from something as biologically hard-wired and socially reinforced as mating, however I’ll do my best to be as mindful as I can of my motivations.
[I realize the MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) community has been on to this concept for years, where adherents go about their lives independent of women. While there is certainly some overlap, the main difference is that my goal isn’t to isolate myself from women permanently nor am I doing this in reaction to women’s behavior at all. That being said, for the month of January at least, the MGTOW movement and I will be fellow travelers.]
I’m really not sure what I’ll get out of this. I have no clue whether after January’s over I’ll put in less effort with women, more effort, or the same amount. My only goal is to take an honest look at the way my desire for intimate connection influences the rest of my life, for better or for worse.
While I came up with Solo Manuary as my own challenge, I’d like to invite others (not already in a relationship!) to join me in January. To this end, I’ve created a Facebook event where we can support one another during the process and share any wisdom—or lack thereof—that our efforts may have uncovered. If you’re interested, join today and let’s keep in touch!
Wes Colton is the only dating coach in the world who—for the month of January at least—will be going out of his way NOT to attract women. Talk to him about it at firstname.lastname@example.org